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Author Topic: Unusual optical sound recording
Keith Wilson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 104
From: England
Registered: Jun 2015

 - posted August 21, 2018 03:56 PM      Profile for Keith Wilson   Email Keith Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
i have a 16mm sound film that has a unilateral variable area optical sound recording, Its a single sided wavy line and not a double sided is it a uncommon optical recording ?
the film is Damsel in Distress with Fred Astaire, has any one else got a copy, if so has it got the same sound recording

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Kenneth Horan
Film Handler

Posts: 51
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted August 21, 2018 07:58 PM      Profile for Kenneth Horan   Email Kenneth Horan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This unilateral variable area sound track you describe is an original RCA Photophone recording from the early 1930's. By 1934 the RCA Victor 'High Fidelity' System used a single bilateral variable area record. Variable density soundtracks are Movietone, Western Electric, Powers Cinephone and British Acoustic Film. The newer and more common dual bilateral variable area tracks are Westrex. There were other systems that used variable area and/or variable density records as well, but those mentioned above are the most common. I hope this information is helpful.

Ken Horan

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Winbert Hutahaean
Film God

Posts: 5468
From: Nouméa, New Caledonia
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted August 21, 2018 08:33 PM      Profile for Winbert Hutahaean   Email Winbert Hutahaean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
With that type of optical sound recording, will the usual projector can still read the sound?


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Nantawat Kittiwarakul
Master Film Handler

Posts: 280
From: Rajburana, Bangkok, Thailand
Registered: Aug 2017

 - posted August 21, 2018 09:53 PM      Profile for Nantawat Kittiwarakul   Email Nantawat Kittiwarakul   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Variable density/area,unilateral/bilateral,single/dual track - all should be readable on any projector provided that it's properly aligned. [Wink]

Just a lone collector from a faraway land...

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Maurice Leakey
Film God

Posts: 5895
From: Bristol. United Kingdom
Registered: Oct 2007

 - posted August 22, 2018 02:57 AM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My copy 0f "A Damsel In Distress" has a single bilateral sound track.


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